News / Asia

Protesters Rally in China, Philippines Against S. China Sea Claim

Protesters march towards the Chinese consulate during a rally in Manila's financial district of Makati, Philippines, May 11, 2012.
Protesters march towards the Chinese consulate during a rally in Manila's financial district of Makati, Philippines, May 11, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Activists opposed to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea marched on the Chinese embassy in Manila Friday, further escalating the two countries’ territorial dispute.

Huangyan Island is a small, rocky outcrop of land about 220 kilometers from the Philippine mainland of Luzon. Tensions in the region escalated on April 10 when the Philippines accused Chinese vessels of illegally fishing in Philippine territory.

China has long claimed sovereignty over the islands, called the Scarborough Shoal in the Philippines.

On Friday, foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei blamed the Philippines for rising tensions between the two countries. He said the Philippines side encouraged people to hold anti-China embassy protests, an action that complicates and magnifies the situation.  

Hong said China pays great attention to the safety of Chinese nationals in the Philippines and has demanded the Philippines take effective measures to earnestly protect the safety of Chinese nationals and institutions in the Philippines.  

The dispute has become an issue of national pride for some Chinese. Small groups of protesters marched in front of the Philippine embassy in Beijing, Friday.

"I believe this Huayuan Island is an inseparable part of China.  I hope their governments don’t make this a cause for bad relations," one protester said.

The protest in Manila was much larger than the one in Beijing. Hundreds of protesters marched in front of the Chinese embassy - many carrying placards that read:  “China Back Off.” 

“The main objective of the protest action is to call the attention of the international community with regards to the Chinese government’s continuing and escalating intrusions in the Panatag [Scarborough] shoal area which we strongly believe is an integral part of the Philippine territory,” explained Emma Hizon, one of the organizers.

The standoff escalated in April when China sent two maritime surveillance ships to prevent the Philippines from arresting Chinese fishermen off Huangyan Island. A Philippines coast guard vessel is currently facing off with the two Chinese ships.  

Several countries claim parts of the South China Sea, including Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan. The waterway is a strategically important trade route and a potentially rich source of oil and natural gas in the region. But Chinese officials have ramped up warnings in recent weeks about the territorial dispute, with state-backed newspapers warning of “small-scale war” if the Philippines does not back off.

China warned its citizens in the Philippines to be cautious and the China International Travel Service, a large government-run travel agency, said it was postponing trips to the Philippines because of the protests. The standoff is also affecting trade between the two countries. In what may be a punitive action by the Chinese government, 1,200 containers of bananas from the Philippines are being held in customs because of what authorities say are "quarantine concerns".

Meanwhile civic groups in the Philippines say they are planning more protests outside of Chinese missions in New York, Singapore and Rome.  


 

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wangchuk from: NYC
May 18, 2012 10:09 AM
When it comes to territory, the PRC is extremely hegemonistic. They invaded Tibet & East Turkestan in 1949-50. They invaded India in 1962 & still occupy Indian territory. They attacked Vietnam in 1979. Now the PRC claims all of the S. China Sea even those these waters are showed by many nations including Philippines & Vietnam. It's time Asian nations stoop up to the Middle Kingdom & say "Enough!"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid